Peachblosssom Apiaries

Adopt a Hive

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Contribute to Healthy, Sustainable Bee Populations

Adopt a hive--your contribution will directly help to support and sustain healthy managed honey bee colonies that are vital to pollination of our farms, gardens and native plants. Your adoption funds will be used to purchase hives, equipment and bees. Hive adoption is perfect for anyone interested in helping to save declining pollinator populations or interested in beekeeping but not able to have hives due to the expense, limited space, or time. 


Hives can be adopted for yourself and make great gifts for friends, children or grandchildren.  

Learn More about bee Hives
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Adopt a Hive Includes an Apiary Tour and Hive Visit

If you adopt a honey production hive, between April and August you can participate in a tour of the apiary containing "your" hive, including an exploration of your hive. You will observe the behaviors and roles of workers, drones and possibly the queen, and you will be amazed at the engineering feats and endless productivity taking place in your hive.


This will be a hands-on learning experience that you will never forget! A beekeeping suit and equipment will be loaned to you.  

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Hive Adoption Is a Great Gift!

Adoption of a nucleus hive or honey production hive would be a great gift for any gardener, nature lover or foodie, and is a thrilling educational experience for a child. 


Adopt a hive is ideal for anyone who: 

  • Loves honey! 
  • Enjoys their garden. 
  • Grows their own produce. 
  • Is passionate about food – including locally sourced produce. 
  • Cares for the environment. 
  • Would love to have their own hive, but doesn’t have the time or space. 
  • Wants to learn more about the role of the honey bee and how to save the bees.

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Adopt a Nuc

$100.00

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Adopt a nucleus hive or "nuc" for one bee year (April-September).  You will receive a hive adoption certificate, emailed monthly reports on your adopted hive, plus three (3) 12 oz. jars of honey from our apiaries after the 2019 harvest.   LIMITED AVAILABILITY; ADOPT TODAY.


(Note: Apiary tour is included only with Adopt a Hive.  Nucs are resource hives in the apiary and may be maintained at 5 frames, split to create new nucs, or moved into 10 frame equipment to develop into a production hive for the following year.)


For gift adoptions, please provide us with the gift recipient's name and email address.

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Adopt a Hive

$300.00

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

Adoption of a honey production hive for one bee year (April-September).  Your name will be placed on your hive.  You will receive a hive adoption certificate, emailed monthly reports on your hive, plus six (6) 12 oz. jars of honey from our apiaries after the 2019 harvest, AND enjoy a tour of the apiary, including hands-on exploration of your hive. LIMITED AVAILABILITY; ADOPT TODAY.

 
(Note: Transportation to the apiary is not included. Bee suit and equipment provided for your visit.  A liability release must be signed prior to the apiary visit.  Tours are not available for anyone with a bee sting allergy.)


For gift adoptions, please provide us with the gift recipient's name and email address.    

Each adoption is temporary for the bee production season (April through October) during one calendar year.  You are not purchasing a hive.

Bee Hive Introduction

What is a hive?

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A hive is a structure in which a bee colony lives.  Managed bee colonies are housed in hive boxes that can be stacked to provide additional space for the colony and its honey as it expands.  The boxes are constructed using uniform dimensions so frames can be interchanged between boxes and hives as necessary.  


The photo above depicts two production colonies (left and right), two nucleus colonies (narrow white boxes) and an occupied swarm trap from which the frames are about to be moved into a hive box in our apiary (center).

Nucleus Colony or "Nuc"

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A nucleus colony or "nuc" is a small colony of bees (typically 5-10 frames of worker bees and a queen), which is a resource hive in the apiary.  The smaller hive box makes it easier for the smaller bee population to control temperature and humidity within the hive and manage pests.


Nucs have many uses, including queen raising and breeding, production of additional brood to bolster weaker hives, management of swarming by splitting strong production hives, and overwintering new colonies for replacement/expansion in the spring. 

Production Colony

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Our honey production colonies are housed in 10-frame boxes.   A typical production colony consists of two 10-frame deep boxes (yellow boxes in image above).  Bees use the deep boxes for pollen storage and raising of brood.  


During the spring and summer nectar flow, shallower boxes called "honey supers" are stacked above the brood boxes (white box in image above).  Bees store nectar in the supers and convert or cure the nectar into honey.  Supers are removed to harvest honey, then the bees store honey in the brood boxes as their winter food supply.

Frames and Comb

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Managed bee colonies are raised using removable frames.  The frames are typically made of wood or plastic on or within which bees make or "draw out" wax comb.  The cells of the comb are used for raising new bees or brood and for the storage of pollen, nectar and honey. 


Bees will fill nearly all open space with wax comb or will seal or glue together smaller spaces with propolis, a  resinous material bees produce by mixing wax, saliva and sap collected from evergreens.  To facilitate inspection and management of hives and minimize damage to the comb, all bee hive components are designed using a concept known as "bee space".  Bees prefer to leave approximately 9 mm (3/8") space between surfaces to allow free passage throughout the hive.  Smaller gaps limit bees' use of that area and lead to propolizing, while larger gaps are filled with "burr" or "brace" comb.  Thus, all hive components (boxes, lids, frames, etc.) are designed to maintain bee space between them so they can be removed and inspected.  

Bees

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The population of a bee colony consists of a single queen, female worker bees, and, during the spring and summer, male drones.  At its peak in the summer, a 10-frame hive may contain 50,000 or more bees, most of which are workers.


The queen generally only leaves the hive once--to be bred shortly after she emerges as an adult bee.  She then resides in the hive, where she can lay 1,500+ eggs/day during the spring and summer.  


Worker bees perform all other daily functions in the hive.  They produce wax and propolis, build comb, feed eggs and larvae, feed and attend to the queen, clean cells for reuse, remove debris and dead bees from the hive.  Workers are also the pollination "workforce" as they forage for pollen and nectar.  


Drones are produced in the spring and summer to breed virgin queens.  Worker bees exclude drones from the hive in the fall to reduce the colony population to be sustained through the winter.

Nectar, Honey, Pollen and Brood

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Bees collect nectar and store it in cells in the "honeycomb".  Bees cure nectar by evaporating excess moisture.  When nectar has cured into honey, bees protect it by capping it with wax (top of image above).


Pollen is an important source of protein and is also collected by worker bees.  Bees store pollen in the comb near areas used for brood (orange and yellow cells in the center of image above). 


A bee's life cycle consists of four stages of development: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.  Worker bees develop from an egg to an adult in 21 days.  The queen lays a single egg in each cell of the comb.  Fertilized egg develop into worker bees; nonfertilized eggs develop as drones.  Eggs and larvae are fed by the workers in uncapped cells.  Once the cells are capped, the larvae transforms into a pupae and then into a adult bee.  Capped worker brood and uncapped larvae are visible in the bottom center of the image above.    

Proud to Support

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